PROVERBS 16:2 NLT “People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.”
Motives are important to God. God is interested in WHY we do things, not just in WHAT we do. Why do you do what you do? Is it to help others? Is it to please God? Or do you live focused totally on yourself? These questions are important to ask ourselves. As 1 Corinthians 11:31 says, “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” Your motive is also important in receiving answers to your prayers (James 4:3). Concerning other people, you must use caution when trying to judge other people. You do not know their motives. Proverbs 21:2TLB “We can justify our every deed, but God looks at our motives.” We often justify ourselves, but judge others harshly. We may judge ourselves based on our good intentions, but we are only capable of judging others by their actions, since we do know their motives. So, we must be very cautious about judging others in a condemning way. One main reason we are not qualified to judge others is because we do not know their thoughts, intentions, and motives. Only God does.
Hebrews 12:2 TLB “Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor.”
We are living in a world system characterized by uncertainty. Things are getting worse by the day and it is not going to get better. The system is failing. What should we do as Christians in the situation? The answer is to fix our attention on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This means casting all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7); trusting Him completely (Provers 3:5-7); fixing our attention on His finished work regardless of contradicting physical evidence, but with endurance and perseverance. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ so that He becomes the focus of our existence, and we can then put everything else into God’s perspective. This requires that we walk in the truth, by affirming, proclaiming, and agreeing with the Word of God in every situation. Every promise of God in the Bible is fulfilled and guaranteed in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Look unto Him for healing, protection, provision, direction, leading; look unto Him as your deliverer from all demonic oppositions, and for every blessing you are seeking in life! He is the answer to all your questions.
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John 16:33 NLT “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.”
How do I trust God when it seems everything around and about me is falling apart? Have you ever asked this question? Life is tough and unpredictable and sometimes does not turn out the way we plan. Jesus said that we will have tribulations in this imperfect world (John 16:33). Too often we ignore this truth and focus only on the good God’s Word promises. This past week we experienced an inclement weather in the State of Texas with devastating effects, the kind we have never experienced in decades. Faith gave way to fear, worry, anxiety, and hopelessness. Where is God? Why is He allowing this to happen? Can we trust Him? Let me assure you that God is still on His throne, He is loving, and He can be trusted. If we focus on Christ and turn our attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we will hear tender words like a whisper in our ears, Trust me, I know what I am doing. This situation is subject to change and it will not consume you. There is good ahead. Keep following Me and I will lead you there. Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).The way we can focus on Christ and turn our attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit, when things fall apart, is to act on this commandment “be not afraid, only believe(Mark5:36). That is when God takes over when things fall apart!
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Matthew 7:7 NIV “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”
The above scripture, and also Mathew 11:28, are unique invitations from the Lord Jesus that we need to accept. Is there an area of your life that you need God’s help in? A lot of times, it is easy to think that we are not supposed to ask for too much, but the scripture encourages us to go to God with all of our needs (Philippians 4:6). God is always willing to give you the desires of your heart (that are consistent with His will) and pour out His favor and blessing on you. When you step out and ask for God’s favor, His blessings and His increase, you are activating your faith. But when you ask in faith to receive, ask with the right motives (James 4:2-3). And when you pray, make sure there is nothing in your heart that would block your prayer of faith (Mark 11:25). Begin your prayers by surrendering every wrong thought and attitude to the Lord. Ask Him to purify your motives and show you if there is any unforgiveness in your life. When you release those things to the Lord, it opens the door for Him to move mightily on your behalf, and you will move forward into the life of blessing He has in store for you!
Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
The dictionary definition of “forgive” is to cease to feel resentment against an offender, that is, to pardon one’s enemies. Corrie ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.” We will know the work of forgiveness is complete when we experience the freedom that comes as a result. We are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive. When we do forgive, the Lord sets our hearts free from the anger, bitterness, resentment, and hurt that previously imprisoned us. We are to get rid of victim mentality and forgive by faith out of obedience to God’s command to forgive. I have found that prayer is one of the best ways to break down the wall of un-forgiveness in my heart. When I begin to pray (Matthew 5:44) for the person who has wronged me, God begins to give me new eyes to see that person as He sees the person and a new heart to care for that person as He cares for the person. Forgiveness demands daily commitment. I know you can do it by His grace, so you can have daily inner freedom and peace!
James 1:1-4 MSG “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
Life is a journey, and it is not always a smooth one. Along the way, there will bends and detours. But once you grasp the scriptural truth in James 1:1-4, whenever your life is interrupted by problems or circumstances you did not anticipate, you will start to see God’s hand at work in all of it. The truth is that you are either in a trial right now, just coming out of one, or heading toward the next one. James talks about “various trials” (James 1:2); they come in every imaginable variety. If you are living you will experience life’s trials; you will get hit by trials. These trials put pressure on your faith, so be prepared to stand your ground. Only the dead are free from the trials of life. But the fact remains that it takes adversity to produce spiritual maturity. It cannot come any other way. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7).” Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). Jesus was an overcomer, and because He lives in you today, you can be an overcomer too, regardless of the pressure on your faith.
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